A resident living metres from the giant pile of refuse at the blighted Waste4Fuel site in Orpington has blamed the Environment Agency (EA) for allowing the situation to get out of hand.
The householder, who did not want to be named, said the EA had not done enough to clear the excess material.
He showed MRW the waste pile from which small amounts of smoke were emerging as an excavator removed material. London Fire Brigade officers were at the site as part of a regime of a daily inspections.
EA contractors Acumen and Mark Luck Ltd were also present, removing waste by the lorryload as part of the agency’s plan to remove 2,000 tonnes of waste from the estimated total of 15,000 tonnes.
The resident claimed the EA should have stepped in much sooner when it became clear that Waste4Fuel was not moving any waste out of the site but continuing to accept it.
“Waste4Fuel just kept taking and taking more stuff in,” he said. “The EA should have done something then because the permit was for only 5,000 tonnes [of waste].”
The resident, who has lived yards from the mountain of refuse for the past five years, believes the EA should clear the whole site.
“They’re taking away one-fifth of the rubbish,” he said, “But what happens to the rest? They have been as useless as they were during the flooding in Somerset last year.”
The man added that he and other residents felt “abandoned” by Bromley Councils and local MPs, who had yet to put forward any concrete plans to clear the site.
The EA said it would provide a statement regarding the issues raised by the resident later.